Blood work is essential to prepare a patient for IVF, increase the chances of successful fertilization, and confirm pregnancy after embryo transfer has been performed.
Without blood work, the chances of success are lower, and fertility specialists are unable to use the latest techniques to truly aid patients in their journey to having a child.
Since there are a lot of misconceptions about in vitro fertilization (IVF) testing and the role that blood work plays, our Los Angeles, CA fertility specialists would like to consider how blood work is used and why it is such an important part of the treatment process.
What Is Being Analyzed in a Blood Test?
In basic terms, blood work gives a fertility specialist a better understanding of the hormone levels in your blood. Hormones are essential for regulating functions in the body, which includes:
- The development of eggs
- Changes in body chemistry
Achieving certain hormone levels during different points of IVF treatment can result in greater chances of success.
Fertility drugs will be used to help regulate hormone levels, but the blood work allows fertility doctors to know for sure what medications should be prescribed and how your body will respond to fertility treatment.
Blood Work Before IVF
Before undergoing IVF, your blood work will use used to assess the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in your system. This will give the fertility specialist an understanding of the quality and number of eggs a woman may have.
In addition, the blood work performed can help note possible incompatibilities between a mother’s blood type and father’s blood type as well as the presence of potential genetic disorders, viruses, and diseases.
Blood tests required one year within IVF treatment
The intended mother or surrogate should be screened for genetic conditions that might impact a pregnancy. These blood tests include:
- HIV antigen/antibody combo
- Hepatitis B surface antigen
- Hepatitis C antibody
- Syphilis (RPR)
Intended parents can also undergo Universal Genetic Carrier Screening, which is beneficial for intended parents at risk of having children with genetic diseases. However, intended parents can pursue preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to evaluate the genetic makeup of potential children.
When Is the Pre-IVF Blood Test Performed?
Initial blood hormone testing is done on the second or third day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. This will help establish baseline hormonal levels for more accurate monitoring and testing throughout the IVF cycle.
Blood Work After Embryo Transfer
The final stage of IVF treatment involves the transfer of an embryo into a woman’s uterus. There, the embryo will attach to the uterine lining and hopefully, a woman will be pregnant. A blood test will be used to measure hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in a woman’s system. hCG is the pregnancy hormone.
When Is the Pregnancy Blood Test Performed?
This blood test to confirm pregnancy is usually done 11 or 12 days after embryo transfer has been performed. This is commonly known as the 2-week-wait after the embryo transfer and before intended mothers and surrogates can determine if the embryo transfer was a success!
Additional Testing as Part of the IVF Process
There is more to IVF testing than a little bit of blood work. Fertility specialists can assess a whole host of factors regarding male and female infertility using the latest diagnostic techniques and testing tools.
During your visit to the practice, you can discuss the challenges you’ve faced in getting pregnant. Following this discussion, the fertility doctor can run a series of tests to help diagnose the cause of your infertility and/or determine the ideal treatment options to help you start a family.
Learn More About Fertility Testing
For more information about female fertility treatments, IVF, and how we can help you, be sure to contact our team of fertility doctors. The team of specialists at Pacific Fertility Center is here to answer your questions and address your concerns as they arise.
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